I forget sometimes. I am always thinking of her, of course, but sometimes realization hits me like a wall of bricks at the most inopportune moments. I am cooking, or sitting in a very important meeting, or playing with my daughter, and I am reminded very suddenly — jarringly — that she is not here anymore. It's a momentary disorientation, an inadvertent pause in the swiftness of the day. And then I begrudge this knowledge, this rediscovered truth of my mother's gaping absence in my life. How long did the forgetfulness last, I wonder. How long was I able to trick myself into believing that her voice is waiting for me at the other end of the phone? Was it seconds, minutes, hours? It couldn't be hours. And so I think back to the time I had hit this wall of bricks the last time. In the morning while making coffee, last night, the week before, and so on.
I feel forever trapped in the vortex of that night, and I remember most clearly only the warmth of clothes just out of the dryer, the smell of the fabric softener, the softness of each fabric and the neat piles I made while my daughter slept. I remember being suspended in a state of numb acceptance and impending action: she’s gone, now what? I often feel this way now — the time to come stretches vastly and uncertainly, while the time past remains unmoving, unforgiving. I still don’t talk about it — there is not much to say and yet there is so much to experience, to feel, to go through. Two years elapsed between the first and second paragraphs of this post, but I am still right there, in the eye of the storm, teetering.